|Unknown, Sauli Koskinen, Adam Lambert|
Moominbert's translation of Sauli's blog after the jump
Hi hi!! Apologies to all you lovely people for having made you wait like a year for this.. :) I've rested up a couple days after Burning Man and am starting to feel more energetic. I'm thinking of doing another juice cleanse just because I had so much energy afterwards, but Burning Man drained me completely.. halp!! Speaking of which, this might be a good time to explain the Burning Man festival. Katri and I sort of failed at explaining it in Tutka.. Katri at least was totally clueless.. hahah!! :) It's a week-long festival held in the Nevada desert at the turn of August/September. The festival culminates on the burning of a giant wooden man, now over 10 meters high, on the final night. It's insanely big!! Other insanely big structures are burnt during the week, including a huge temple that's rebuilt every year. The festival was conceived in San Francisco in 1986 and was moved to Nevada in 1990. Each year there are about 65,000 participants, yet the festival makes an attempt at not leaving a trace in nature, meaning everything you bring, you take with you when you leave, including trash..
Most people drive to Burning Man and it's an 11-hour drive from Los Angeles, but with the huge amount of traffic, it may take up to 20 hours to get there and even longer coming back. I of course flew there and avoided the horrible drive. The flight is only 2-3 hours so not a big deal. ;) We flew in a small four-seat plane.. It was smaller than a car inside and the back seat was so cramped my knees were practically in my mouth.. Never was Sauli so scared in his life before, there was a lot of turbulence along the way and I thought we might well get killed. The best part was hearing, before we got onto the plane, that another small plane had landed on a house at the same airport and there was a big story in the news.. So you can just imagine how it felt taking off after that.. But I smiled, prayed and kept my pants on.. :)
We made it there in one piece and it was an incredible view from the air. In this picture, the circular shape is Burning Man. The festival is built according to the same plan every year, and the circle is a clock. You get a map upon arrival so you can navigate the circlular maze. I got lost about a hundred million times, but in the end it's pretty easy to move around once you figure out how the clock works. (It took me a while.) I camped at eight o'clock, but somehow I kept finding myself in a different time zone all the time.. ;)
You get around on bicycles or altered cars. People had the weirdest contraptions that they were getting around on, I was completely amazed. You also have to cover your eyes and your mouth well every time, because you can't go around in the sandstorms without proper equipment. One time I biked to the opposite side of the clock without protection and I couldn't stop coughing.. My throat and eyes were entirely filled with sand and it was just impossible.. I know I'm making it sound horrible, but really it was the best week of my life EVER!! At night, it looks so beautiful and totally different!! whoa! Lights twinkling everywhere and everyone's bikes and cars have lights all over them, and there's music everywhere!! I've never danced as much as I danced during this week..
The days are totally different. Everyone is taking it easy and you can go get a massage, do yoga, or see art.. There are places where you can go have a beer or something stronger.. Everything is free and included in the price of the ticket, but it's also a good idea to offer something to others. The place is full of friendly people and everyone is happy. The community is referred to as one big family. It doesn't matter how you're dressed, you can go naked if you feel like it. There are no rules!! You can actualize yourself as much as you want or do whatever comes to your mind. How cool is that??!! Huh? :) In the evening you can go see amazing fire shows or incredible circus acts.. You can dance everywhere and the best parties take place on top of cars!! Here's our happy ragtag group.
Anyway, now I'm back in the city of angels and have washed off the sand and the dust of Burning Man. It was a pretty tough week out in the desert, but I wouldn't trade a single day of it for anything!! I've slept three days straight and you know what's next, don't you...? Healthy living and possibly another cleanse.. Possibly?? :)